iPhone iPhone 4/4S Retina display vs the competition

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Technarchy, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    One of the most common questions that frequently comes up is if the iPhone 4/4S Retina display can still hang with the competition in key areas.

    The answer is yes.

    *This has nothing to do with the OS, Apps, or anything else. Just pure display tech. Everyone's eyes are different, but this is how I saw it.

    Key bullet points:
    -Color reproduction
    -Text legibility
    -Level of artifacts during video playback


    1. HTC One X/Evo 4G LTE
    2. Motorola Atrix HD
    3. iPhone 4S/4
    4. Sony Xperia iON
    5. Samsung Galaxy SIII
    6. HTC One S
    7. HTC Titan II
    8. Samsung Galaxy Nexus
    9. Nokia Lumia 900
    10. Samsung Galaxy SII

    I think the One X has the best display in the business hands down. It's big, it's bright, and very clear and easy on the eyes. Video looks awesome too.

    The Motorola Atrix HD was far more impressive than I expected. It's incredibly sharp, and the brightness was probably the best of all the phones.

    Then comes the iPhone 4S. It's still one of the brightest, sharpest screens on the market, despite being released in 2010. Text looks great with a hint of anti-aliasing to soften the edges, colors are slightly understated, but natural looking, with great sharpness when content is zoomed in or out.

    Very simply, the iPhone 4S screen is still one of the best in the business.

    Edit: The Sony Xperia iON was a surprising sleeper in terms of displays.
  2. utahman130 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2012
    I still think Retnia Display is crisper than any other display out there. Other displays come close, but I still think it is #1. I wish the Retnia Display had more Hue/Saturation and was a little brighter.
  3. Mac.World macrumors 68000


    Jan 9, 2011
    In front of uranus
    Looks pretty accurate to me.


    No such thing as a retina display. The iphone is an lcd ips, just like the HOX, but the HOX is quite a bit bigger and still managers to match pixel density. (the difference of 15-20 pixels spread out over 1.5 inches would require a microscope to see the diffence.) Retina is just a term Apple uses.
  4. Subjugator macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2010
    I had the One X for awhile. I would say iphone 4/4s screen blows it away the X. Yes its nice and big, however rhe color are way over saturated to the point of being comical, and distracting.
  5. blackhand1001 macrumors 68030


    Jan 6, 2009
    Putting the galaxy nexus below the htc one s is boardline criminal. They're both pentile super amoled. The galaxy nexus is 1280x720 vs the one s pentile 960x540.

    The same goes for the lumia 900 being below the titan II. The both an rgb 800x480 displays. The lumia uses super amoled+.
  6. boomboom2 macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2012
    The thing about the One X screen is that the images seems to be "floating" on the glass. It's definitely a beauty.
  7. The iGentleman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2012
    Mine top 5 would be:

    1. HTC One X
    2. Galaxy S3
    3. Galaxy Nexus
    4. Atrix HD
    5. Xperia Ion
  8. RocketRed macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2012
    Mine would be

    1. Docomo Sharp SH-01D
    2. Sony Xperia S
    3. HTC One X
    4. Samsung Galaxy S3
    5. Samsung Galaxy Nexus
  9. The iGentleman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2012

    Very intriguing list. Interesting perspective indeed. Great list.
  10. swoosh0217 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2007
    Retina display is far better than the HTC One no doubt or any other competition.
  11. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    I'd put:

    1. HTC One X/iPhone

    2. Daylight

    3. Anything OLED-based - they look oily and weird. Too green or too blue generally.
  12. depths macrumors regular


    Apr 17, 2012
    OP hates the Galaxy Nexus. I'm surprised it made the list.
  13. RocketRed macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2012
    Thank you iGentleman~

    I owned an SH-01D for a few months. It is a Japanese Android Phone. The screen is the most amazing I have seen on any android phone, as the screen is supplied by the makers of the phone (sharp). Too bad it's bloated with Docomo software and the Japanese Android community have yet to find a root for it.
  14. The iGentleman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2012
    That's interesting. I remember hearing about that phone a while back, but forgot about (since it's not available in the US). I like your list, because it involves more broad thinking and unconventional considerations.


    Sorry, but as nice as the iPhone's display is, it has been surpassed. With other screen technologies being utilized today, other phones are matching the retina display's crispness and clarity, but with a significantly larger display. Does this mean the retina display is bad? No. It just means it isn't top dog (or top 5 honestly).
  15. Technarchy thread starter macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    All AMOLED screens are inferior to the iPhone Retina display.

    The funky colors, the blue haze over everything, the dim darkness and lack of brightness.

    It just doesnt make for as pleasant of viewng experience compared to LCD displays.
  16. Dmaynard83 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2012
  17. Zaft macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Amoled still has the annoying issue of sucking in direct light. My friends GS3 in minimal lighting looked washed out.
  18. Technarchy thread starter macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    Some claim AMOLED has lower glare.

    I think that is completely irrelevent if visibility is shot to hell in sunlight, which was the case with my GS2, Nexus S and GNEX.
  19. The iGentleman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2012
    Of course this is a matter of opinion. I think the Amoled displays look better than the retina display. I'd much rather watch an HD video on the GS3, than watch the same video in standard def on the iPhone. It really just doesn't compare.
  20. The iGentleman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2012
    The sunlight argument is overblown. People act as if the screen disappears in the sunlight. The screen is visible in the sunlight. Sure an LCD panel may look a tad bit brighter in the sunlight, but not by much. I've yet to see any screen that looks excellent in direct sunlight. That said, I don't spend the majority of my time in direct sunlight, and nor does the vast majority of the population. Heck it isn't even sunny every day, so the whole direct sunlight comparison isn't nearly as important as some make it out to be. But playing devil's advocate, the amoled displays look better indoors and when not in direct sunlight.
  21. skidbubble macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2010
    Couldn't help but notice OP conveniently (and probably intentionally) left off "size" as one of the key bullet points. Yup, don't wanna put that on there, because that is an area where the iPhone falls short and we can't have that.

    And before you try to say it isn't important, it is. Quite possibly one of the first things people notice when looking at a phone screen.
  22. Technarchy thread starter macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    Size is a factor. The One X looks great and is large. As is the Atrix HD. Notice they are 1 and 2.

    However, for the rest under the iPhone 4S, bad image quality is bad image quality. Could be a 5" screen or a 77" screen. Makes no difference.
  23. The iGentleman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2012
    So then by that logic that means you'd take a 23" Samsung LED 1080p 240hz television over a 46" Vizio LCD 1080p 120hz, since it's about image quality and size makes no difference?
  24. Savor Suspended


    Jun 18, 2010
    The HTC Rezound from last year and Sony Xperia S are tied at 342ppi. Apple's highest density claim has already been beaten 8 months ago. The Motorola Atrix HD also matches the 326ppi of the iPhone 4/4s.
  25. boss.king, Jul 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012

    boss.king macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    That's a pretty big jump you've made. The difference between a 3.5" and 4.8" display (with similar pixel density) is vastly different to a 23" vs 46" display (of the same resolution), to the extent that it's not really even relevant to the conversation.

    What the OP is saying is that size was a factor in his decision, but a it's not the deciding factor. Image quality is important too, and I agree with him whole heartedly. What's the point of having a monster display if the image looks like crap? The iPhone display (while not the best) still offers better image quality than a large number of phones with bigger screens. They key is a balance between size and image quality.

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